Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Caesar Salad and The Love of Christ

Have you ever been ashamed of being a Christian?

No, I'm not referring to those guilt-ridden manipulative memes that go around saying that you have to pass it on, or burn in hell.

Well, let me just say I was pretty embarrassed the other night.  I was on a date with my hubby, and here is the conversation I overheard from the table behind me.


"Can you believe this?  It doesn't even look like food."

Waiter approaches. "Is everything ok? Can I get you anything?"

"You can get me some decent food. Does this look like Caesar Salad to you?"

"I'm sorry sir, I'll take that away.  Would you like something else?"

"I would like to eat something with nutritional value."

"Would you like to talk to the manager?"

"Yes, that would be great."

"Do you want me to take that other one?"

"No, you can leave it, I'd like to show it to the manager."

Waiter walks away with a Caesar salad that looks identical to the one my husband just finished.

Conversation continues at the table while they wait for the manager.

"It's just disgusting.  There's no nutritional value at all in something like that."

"I know.  Since when is Caesar salad made with Iceberg?  They need to re-read the recipe, it's not rocket science."

Conversation turns (at which point I become very uncomfortable).

"I was listening to the radio the other day, on the way home from your house, and this song came on.  I think it was called 'Pressing On'."

"Is it current?"

"I'm not sure.  It sounded like a contemporary singer.  I mean, not raucous, but more modern than Sandy Patti or Steve Green."

I sit there thinking, "Oh, so they're Christians,"  and then try to tune them out again.

Manager Arrives "Is there anything wrong, sir."

Here is where the man's tone becomes degrading and condescending.  "I'll say there is.  Take a look at that salad.  Does that look like Romaine to you?"

"Yes sir, that is what we use in our Caesar."

"I'm sorry, but that's not Romaine.  Where is the green?  Romaine is dark green.  You understand the difference between Romaine and Iceberg, right? I mean, you own a restaurant."

"I assure you, sir, we only use Romaine lettuce in our Caesar Salad."

"I'm not an idiot.  I feed Romaine lettuce to my turtle. My pet eats better food than this."

"I'm sorry you're not satisfied, sir.  That is the Romaine we receive from our suppliers."

"Don't give me that excuse.  This is your restaurant.  You have a duty to your customers.  Maybe you need to get a new supplier.  If I owned a restaurant, I would be ashamed to serve this kind of crap to my customers."


At this point I was so livid I wanted to go over there and tell the guy to shut-up.  The manager was cool and composed the entire time, and I felt so bad that he had to deal with that kind of ridiculous non-sense.  I tried to tune them out the rest of the time, and only partially succeeded.  Deep down I was so glad that this couple hadn't said anything about Jesus in front of the manager or Waiter.  If they had, I would have felt obligated to tell the waiter that I was a Christian too, and not to judge us all by their rude, offensive, nit-picky standard.

So, here's my point.  Never sacrifice kindness and love on the altar of nutrition.

My hubby, as I said before, had the same salad.  I asked him if he enjoyed it and he said it was good.  I saw the lettuce he ate, and it looked fine.  It was Red Lobster for crying out loud.  It wasn't the Ritz.  I'm sorry, but you cannot expect to get organic, locally grown produce, picked at the peak of freshness as a free side to your seafood dinner.  If that's what you want, go to the Nantucket Seafood Grill and pay $10 to get it ala Carte.

Christians are called to put others first.  How can you do that if you're so irate about not getting your nutritional expectations met that you verbally abuse a hard working business owner?  Suppose you aren't satisfied with your dinner, suppose the waiter royally ruins your night by messing up your order, or maybe spilling your drink on you (I've had that happen to me).  Even if you feel justified in your complaint, find a better way to voice it, one that shows compassion and kindness. Express your disappointment in a way that shows your respect for them as another human being.

Here's another thing to consider, just in case you've never worked in food service.  Restaurants can easily process 50 heads of lettuce a day depending on the size of the restaurant.  All of this lettuce is cut and mixed at one time.  Which means that the outer leaves of the romaine don't always end up in equal portion to the inner leaves in every single bowl of salad.  Here's a shocking photo of what the inside of a head of romaine lettuce looks like:
So, what are the odds that your particular bowl of salad is going to contain a high quantity of dark green leaves?  Not good.

Or, maybe, just maybe, you should leave your entitled attitude at the door and realize that the world doesn't revolve around your nutritional requirements.  Perhaps you should be grateful that you aren't living in the bush in Africa only getting a bowl of rice a day when the gang warfare slows enough for the shipment to get through.

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